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A few weeks ago, I began sharing with you the steps for TAME’s 5-Step mindful eating program. We have already covered steps one, two and three. If you missed them, you can find them in the archives section of the Mindful Bites blog page. In this blog, I will show you how to experience your emotions without using food as a crutch.

The key to doing this is the question: What are you really hungry for? By answering this question, you distinguish between physical and emotional hunger. If you are physically hungry, you eat. But, if you are emotionally hungry, spend time figuring out what emotion you are feeling (i.e., anger, anxiety, boredom, sadness, loneliness, hopelessness, and stress). When you know what you are feeling, you can go about remedying it.

One technique for managing emotions is meditation. Meditation calms the mind and frees you up to consider other ways to respond to what you are feeling other than by eating. If you want more specific help, you might find it in my book, The Best Diet Begins in Your Mind which identifies eight emotions people eat in response to and gives the tools to address them.

How do you feel about asking yourself “What am I really hungry for?” the next time you have the urge to eat?

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